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The tables below compare the costs, convenience and performance of common bulb types for general ambient lighting and spot lighting. LED lighting works out at a quarter of the price of old-fashioned incandescent bulbs - even before energy-savings & maintenance.
When choosing lighting lots of factors need to be taken into account. Old-fashioned incandescent light-bulbs have been around since the 1880s and are being phased out in many countries around the world. However, their simple design means they consume less resources per bulb when produced, the light quality is warm and they are dimmable, meaning if you have 60W bulbs but usually like to keep the dimmer switch set at about 50%, then you may only be consuming 30Watts per bulb.
Modern CFLs and LEDs are far more efficient but are often criticised by lighting professionals for their poor ratings in terms of beam angle, diffusion and tone (cool, bright, warm, soft etc). However, new technologies are constantly being improved, for instance look for 'fast-start' CFL bulbs and dimmable halogen. Any remaining deficiencies can be overcome by using the right light fittings, lenses and deflectors.
|Brightness||650 lumens||650||500 lumens|
|Heat||Dangerously Hot. 98% of the energy input ends up as heat instead of light||Very Hot||Slightly hot||Minimal|
|Heat||Very hot||Very Hot||Slightly hot||Minimal|
Brightness (Luminous Flux)
The luminous flux measures the amount of light produced by a light source. Instead of using the conventional way to choose a light source by the amount of watts or wattage, luminous flux is an alternative way of choosing the correct light source for a room or application.
LED (Light-Emitting Diode)
A light-emitting diode (LED) is an electronic light source. LEDs radiate light through the movement of electrons in a semiconductor material. LEDs last for an amazing amount of time, give off virtually no heat and contain no hazardous materials.
Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL)
Many CFLs are designed to replace an incandescent lamp and can fit into most existing light fixtures formerly used for incandescent light bulbs. CFLs generally use less power, have a longer rated life and give the same amount of light, but at a higher purchase price. Like all fluorescent lamps, CFLs contain mercury, which complicates their disposal. CFLs radiate a different light spectrum from that of incandescent lamps, but are becoming more similar in colour output to the standard incandescent light bulb.